Meet the headteachers of these 6 Essex schools
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When looking for a school for your child, there will be nobody better than a school’s headteacher to tell you precisely what that place is all about. We meet the headteachers of 6 great Essex schools
Chris Townsend - Felsted School
Felsted, Dunmow, Essex CM6 3LL | 01371 822600
Being involved in the education of young people is a real privilege; as is working in an environment like that of Felsted. Why? Because Felsted is a genuinely welcoming place, a community where aspiration is admired and individuality encouraged. We seek to develop young people who are kind, considerate and caring, with respect for themselves, and respect for others.
We’ll expect your child to do well, and the expectations are high, but they are set appropriately for each child as we want your child’s education to be fun and enjoyable. That’s why we provide a huge range of opportunities for development outside the classroom to support the challenging and inspiring academic education.
Felsted offers day both and contemporary boarding options to suit the complexities of modern family life. I would be delighted to welcome you at our next Open Day or on an individual visit so you can find out why Felsted is such a popular choice for families in the region.
Chris Townsend has been the current Headmaster at Felsted since 2015. Formerly Deputy Head, Chris is a Classics graduate from Brasenose College, Oxford, beginning his teaching career at Dean Close School, where he was at school himself, followed by a period as Housemaster and Head of Boarding at Stowe. You can read his blogs here.
Peter Jones - Littlegarth School
Park Rd, Nayland, Colchester CO6 4JR | 01206 262332
Peter Jones has spent his entire teaching career in East Anglian Prep Schools and was delighted to be given the opportunity to lead Littlegarth School when the post became available in September 2003. Littlegarth was established in Dedham in 1940 and had only moved to the beautiful site of Horkesley Park in 1994.
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Before joining Littlegarth, Peter Jones had spent a number of years running a PE Department and classroom teaching and he also created a highly successful multi-activity holiday programme which has been running in schools across the country for the past 25 years.
As Deputy Head of Holmwood House School, he developed his passion for creating exciting opportunities to support the learning of children of all abilities. Littlegarth School has provided the ideal opportunity for this passion to be fulfilled. The school already had an outstanding reputation for academic and pastoral excellence and a strong and committed staff team.
The past fifteen years have been spent working with staff and governors to develop the curriculum, buildings, resources and grounds to provide the children with the broadest curriculum experience taught by outstanding teachers. Our two most recent ISI inspection reports highlight that the school has achieved top grades in all categories.
David Young - Colchester High School
11-17 Wellesley Road, Colchester, CO3 3HD
At Colchester High School, we pride ourselves on offering an excellent family-friendly education to children from nursery through to Year 11.
By providing a structured formal education supplemented with small class sizes, high quality teaching and a wide range of extra-curricular activities, our pupils consistently exceed their individualised learning goals, giving them the confidence and motivation to excel throughout their School life and develop as well-rounded happy individuals. The foundations of this success are laid in our all-year-round Nursery, which offers an individually targeted blend of free-flowing play and formal learning in phonics and maths.
It is built on in our Lower and Senior School, where we offer a broad curriculum designed to help each pupil progress at the right speed. Our individualised focus reaches beyond the classroom to take in the worlds of sport, music, the arts and more so that every child can explore all of their talents.
As you can see, I’m extremely proud of our school and I love nothing more than showing it off to prospective families. Do please arrange to visit us – you’ll be made very welcome.
Hilary Vipond - St Mary’s School Colchester
91 Lexden Road,Colchester, CO3 3RB | 01206 216420
Principal of St Mary’s School is Mrs Hilary Vipond, who began her career working in schools in London as a Geography and Careers teacher and first joined St Mary’s as a PSHE and Careers teacher in 1996, before being appointed Principal in September 2006.
Mrs Vipond has a hands-on approach to headship and feels it is important to be involved in the day-to-day running of the school. She knows each of the girls in the school individually, so that she can encourage them to do their best, achieve their potential, engage in many extra-curricular activities and help others.
‘At St Mary’s the emphasis is on encouraging girls to be happy and to make the most of all the opportunities school life brings,’ says Mrs Vipond.
‘We find that when they feel secure and supported, our pupils are able to do their best academically – indeed St Mary’s students’ GCSE results are consistently among the best in the area and SATs results place St Mary’s Lower School in the Sunday Times UK Top 100 Preparatory Schools.’
Callum Douglas - St Margaret’s Prep School
Gosfield Hall Park, Gosfield, Halstead, CO9 1SE | 01787 472134
When you read any information about an Independent school you would expect to see the words ‘Unique’ ‘Small Class Sizes’ ‘Bringing the best out in each child’ ‘Excellent Academic Results’ and so forth. St. Margaret’s offers all of those, but you would expect that from any good Preparatory School. So what makes us different? Why would we encourage you to put your trust in our school? Parents who send their children to St Margaret’s know they can trust us to make education fun and stimulating. We’ve been established since 1946 so they know our reputation for developing exceptionally well-rounded pupils with a love of learning.
They know our academic results speak for themselves, with our excellence in scholarships, including sport and the arts, especially music. We ensure that every child reaches age 11 well prepared to join the senior school that is just right for them, but what makes St Margaret’s so special for parents is the warm and nurturing heart at its core, with every child valued and treated as an individual to bring out the very best in them.
Quite simply we are a family, with traditional caring family values. You’ll feel it as soon as you see the school in its beautiful parkland setting and step inside the warm and welcoming entrance; you’ll feel it when you see our dedicated team helping every child to flourish, celebrating their achievements and recognising their strengths; most of all you’ll feel it when you meet the children themselves – delightful, happy, thriving and full of life. They are our greatest achievement and we are so proud to be a part of their lives.
We would love to welcome you to visit us, either on one of our open mornings, or on a private tour, and to show you just why we are so proud of our school.
Nicola Jenkin - Brentwood School
Middleton Hall Ln, Brentwood CM15 8EE | 01277 243243
Mrs Nicola Jenkin, BA, MA - Senior Deputy Head (Pastoral) and Teacher of German
Now in my Fifth Year at Brentwood School, I feel immensely privileged to work in such a warm, vibrant and supportive learning community. As Senior Deputy Head and Designated Safeguarding lead, I am responsible for the pastoral care of our students. Working with an outstanding core pastoral team of professionals, which comprises experienced Heads of Year, the Chaplain, SENCo, tutors, boarding staff, nurses, BACP accredited counsellor and pastoral managers, we aim to promote the wellbeing and positive mental health of all students and staff.
Exciting developments have been the recent appointment of a Director of Wellbeing and the introduction of parent workshops as part of our Brentwood Learning Community. We cannot underestimate the huge, societal challenges young people face every day, including the pressure to succeed academically, to navigate social media safely and responsibly and cope with adolescence.
We are, therefore, incredibly proud of the way in which our students develop into the accomplished, confident individuals who act with integrity and who are ready to make a real difference in the world.